Huckabee: I'd Rather Be A Talk Show Host Than President

As conservative Americans go, I'm rather fond of Governor Fox News host Mike Huckabee. There's no way I'd ever vote for him, but as I Tweeted the other day, "He doesn't have a good grasp of public policy, but I do think he has keen insight into day-to-day life, human psyche, & spiritual desires... He also has a deep and sincere respect for all Americans, regardless of whether or not they share his politics."

Yet as I said, for all his humbleness and compassion, it would be hard for Huckabee to be more wrong on policy, so if he does run again, let's be sure we remember this little chestnut:

Mike Huckabee, the former Republican governor from Arkansas who has his own Fox show told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" that a 2012 presidential bid is "less than likely" and depends on whether Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News, keeps liking his show.

"The reason I wouldn't is that this Fox gig I've got is really wonderful, " he said, talking about whether or not he would get in the race given that he is a GOP front runner according to most recent polls.  "Jumping into the pool, you gottta make sure there is some water in it."

Remember The Onion's headline from November 5, 2008? "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job". That black man is now trying to juggle Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, new fiscal regulations, job creation, health insurance reform, climate change, and perhaps most importantly, a young family. To do the job properly, to avoid burning out, you've got to want it; you've got to have what Bob Graham used to call the "fire in the belly". You can't "settle" for being Commander in Chief just because you didn't get the job you really wanted. The Presidency is not "Miss Congeniality".

If Huckabee's feelings don't change and he does indeed stay on the sidelines in 2012, than great, at least there'll be one quasi-sane voice on the nation's most-watched cable pundit channel. If, however, he changes his mind and asks the nation for permission to run five military branches, numerous intelligence agencies, and 15 Cabinet departments, let's be sure we remember to remind voters and reporters that he's just settling and that the gig wasn't his first choice.

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White House Communications Shuffle: Dunn To Step Down

Big process news: White House Communications Director Anita Dunn is resigning. Deputy Dan Pfeiffer will take over. This is not a rebuke for Dunn; she made it clear from the get-go that her job was a temporary one. From Politico:

Anita Dunn is stepping down from her post as White House communications director, and her deputy, Dan Pfeiffer, will be replacing her, a White House official confirmed Tuesday.

Dunn took the job on an interim basis about six months ago after the first person Obama named to the key post, former Emily's List director Ellen Moran, left the post for the Commerce Department, citing family reasons.

Dunn, a longtime Democratic political consultant, made few headlines in the White House until last month when she seemed to kick off a crusade aimed at de-legitimizing Fox News. The anti-Fox campaign generated criticism from other members of the press as well as a lot of second-guessing from other Democratic strategists, some of whom described it as an unnecessary distraction.

I think this is a good thing. I despise Fox News (except for Shepard Smith) and think the White House should more or less ignore it, and it was right to push back a little when the rest of the MSM began following Fox's lead on stories like ACORN and Van Jones, but there came a point when Dunn and her team just went too far. Fox needs to be slapped, but you don't want that fight to overshadow the rest of your message as was always clear would happen. Besides, Saturday Night Live and Jon Stewart can handle much of that battle on their own. No, what the White House communications staff needs to do is focus more on crafting a presidential narrative rather than on one media outlet. As Tom Friedman said earlier this month, Obama's otherwise masterful speeches have "not tied all his programs into a single narrative that shows the links between his health care, banking, economic, climate, energy, education and foreign policies. Such a narrative would enable each issue and each constituency to reinforce the other and evoke the kind of popular excitement that got him elected."

Perhaps a new communications shop will help achieve that goal. Dunn, of course, wouldn't have deserved to be fired, and I wouldn't have called for her ouster over such small things, but this is the perfect time for a planned voluntary shake-up. Best wishes to Dunn in whatever comes next, and high expectations for Pfeiffer.

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Sunday Funnies and Open Thread

Two clips for your enjoyment, both skewering Fox News.

The first is Saturday Night Live's take on how Fox News covered Tuesday's election results. If it can make both Jonathan Singer and a conservative West Point friend of mine laugh, you know it's got something goin' for it. (Joe Trippi, if you're reading, what did you think?)

And the best for laugh - Jon Stewart's shining moment, one of the Daily Show's best ever clips. Seriously, this may be the greatest style parody I've ever seen.

Consider this an open thread.

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Birds of a Feather

The more I am involved in local politics and neighborhood issues the more I am coming to realize that most people tend to seek out those who share their already held beliefs and look for reinforcement versus critical analysis. Have we become a country that is so entrenched in ideology that facts have become nonessential to rational discussion? My fear is that we have become a nation of intellectually lazy people who would rather have their news and facts spoon fed to them by the likes of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. It appears that the more technology we incorporate into our society the less many of us read, study, and work to understand the nuisances of different issues. Instead of witnessing accurate and factual discussions we have become spectators to a drunken family brawl, where facts are replaced with family indignation.

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Obama Takes It to Fox, Netroots Leaves Him Out to Dry

Where are the letters to the editors (stamped envelopes still get the most attention)?   Where are emails flooding in boxes?   Where are the callers to the radio talk shows?   Where is the support for Obama on the left?

This is reminding me of August and the townhall death panel bullshit, where conservatives, and drunk, lazy, or stupid (or all three) journalists ruled the day on health care and prgressive where on holiday.  The White House has again mounted a charge only to find their troops are skulkers.

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